tenue-de-soiree-garance-dore

3 years ago by

I never know what to wear out at night.

It always annoys me and I end up wasting way too much time. I lose confidence in myself and in my taste, I spend forever in front of the mirror, I take dumb selfies and send them to my friends, and since they can’t see anything anyway because I’m terrible at selfies, it’s even worse, so they stress me out by saying things like:

“Need another photo, I can’t even tell what you’re wearing”
“What’s that thing in front of your dress?” (my phone, obviously)
“What color is that? Cat pee yellow?” (bad lighting)
“How can someone who’s a photographer be so bad at selfies?” (shut up right now)

Yep, because obviously I always wait until the last minute.
So I stress everyone out.
Because I hate evening wear.

Usually when I want to dress up to go out at night, I always start out thinking I’ll wear a dress.
Yes. I have this idea in my head, like most girls, that “night” means “dress”.
Don’t try to figure it out, that’s just the way it is.

So then I start the useless and frantic search for the “perfect last minute dress” which:

1/ Doesn’t exist
2/ Is very, very expensive
3/ Can’t be found at the last minute. To be perfect, a dress always has to be altered, otherwise you’re a model, in which case, what are you doing reading this post?

By then, not only am I irritated, I’m also exhausted AND frustrated.

For a while, I had resolved my problem with a few really cool tuxes, but one mustn’t go overboard with the joys of wearing a suit, especially when you have short hair.
If you do, you’ll quickly turn into Ellen De Generes, and even though I ADORE Ellen, I really don’t want to have her look.

You know, because at night, I want to be super feminine, a bit femme fatale.

But the problem is – no dresses look good on me.
No dresses look good on anyone, actually, if you really want to know how I feel about it.

That’s always what I’m thinking to myself when I watch the awards.
I like them well enough, I play the game, I choose my favorites, I feel like I’m taking a trip to planet tralala – it’s fun for about two seconds.

But most of the time in those ceremonies, it’s like “cool” has left the building and been replaced by slightly awkward women forced into an obsolete definition of sexiness (with their breasts imprisoned in push up bras, their waists strangled) that doesn’t look anything at all like the free woman in motion that I love and want to be.

Oh hey, by the way. Since we were talking about Céline on Friday, and how Phoebe Philo redefined the way we dress and the kind of women we have the right to be (cool, sensual, comfortable) – just looking at her collections makes you realize.

Not a single evening gown.

The closest thing is a romper. Hands in pockets, high heels – her rompers totally borrow from the “woman in a tux” attitude.
So it’s back to the same idea.

There are exceptions, of course. Valentino dresses that make you want to cry they’re so beautiful. Dior by Raf Simmons. Cate Blanchett in Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy. But girls who have Cate Blanchett’s allure are very rare.

So when it comes to evening wear, there aren’t many places left for me to look for ideas.
I look at what Jenna Lyons does, what Emmanuelle Alt does, and what Phoebe Philo does, on the rare occasion she goes out.

So that’s the thing. It was when I went to a black tie event that I realized what my real problem was. I don’t like evening gowns.

I ended up in pants and a bustier, but honestly, I really would have liked to have something new and beautiful to wear. A new attitude, a new femininity – something truly modern.

But I think it’s clear now: for the time being, that doesn’t exist. Or it’s very, very rare.

I really think it’s time to redefine evening wear for women, don’t you think?

Translated by Andrea Perdue

115 comments

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  • Marjolaine September, 17 2014, 9:16 / Reply

    Le nouveau blog est magnifique, un régal! Mais plus personne ne corrige les fautes et se charge d’enlever les mots en trop ou de rajouter les mots qui manquent non? Avec un si beau design c’est dommage que les textes piquent les yeux…

  • Trop joli ce dessin et qui exprime totalement bien ce que tu écris dans ton article!
    Pour ma part, j’adore m’habiller pour sortir, aller à des mariages etc! Après, j’avoue que ça peut être prise de tête pour trouver toute la tenue!!! On a la robe mais on ne trouve pas la pochette qui va avec etc!
    Bises

    Le monde des petites
    http://www.lemondedespetites.com/

  • Les robes de soirée sont bien souvent “too much” à mon goût (ou alors peut-être que les soirées auquelles j’assiste ne sont pas assez guindées pour la robe) J’aime beaucoup oser le pantalon en soirée, la combi ou autres… C’est vrai que c’est difficile, il m’arrive même de prévoir une tenue de rechange au cas où les gens aient mieux compris le dress code, eux ;p

    Cécile
    http://www.maxcebycecilej.com

  • i’m scared of black tie… :)

    http://littleaesthete.com

  • Pourquoi pas une robe de jour relookée en robe du soir ? Plus simple par la coupe et le tissu et tellement plus décontractée. En choisir une de couleur un peu soir avec un bijou extra et l’affaire est dans le sac. Bien d’accord les robes genre “awards”, ça fait moche et empotée et en plus elles sont toutes coupées pareil (bustier, paillette, beurk beurk…). Rien à faire mais ça fait vieille couturasse !
    Egmonde

  • Le problème est plus global, on a plus l’occasion de “s’habiller”…
    Maintenant on fait tout dans n’importe quelle tenue, alors dès que l’on veut faire un effort on se sent complètement décalé. Y a quand même de moins en moins de costume le soir sur les hommes du coup, quelle femme veut mettre une robe avec son mec en jeans?
    Le vestiaire s’est aussi appauvri avec la perte des codes, l’exposition des années 50 au palais Galliera exprime très bien la diversité de ce qu’il y avait avant. Ceci dit c’était pas plus simple car il fallait se changer 5 fois par jour ;)
    Donc y a plus qu’a faire des soirées habillé avec tes copines vous aurez l’air de déesses dans les rues de NY sauf à vos yeux.

  • Monsieur J: Je suis tellement mais tellement d’accord avec votre propos!
    Et c’est bien dommage tout cela!

  • ben je sais pas, mais là, y a laaaargement pire comme “tarte en robe” :-):
    http://www.garancedore.fr/en/2011/05/26/amfar-facts-iphone-pictures/

  • Le soir?
    Un sari.
    Même (surtout) quand on n’est pas Indienne.
    Chic
    et sexy
    si on le porte près
    du bas
    du dos.
    Ok, ça demande un peu de maîtrise du plissé, mais une fois qu’on l’a, rien de tel pour se sentir comme une reine.
    D’ailleurs.

  • Le sari, c’est impossible à enfiler (et à enlever!!) soi-même, et c’est impossible de pisser avec… Et puis, il y a la graisse du ventre qui déborde (= interdiction de manger pendant au moins 3j avant l’événement)…
    Garance, je suis d’accord avec toi, les robes du soir, c’est moche et tarte et tellement américain aussi (je vis en jogging la journée et une fois par an, je me donne à 200%).
    Bref, je n’ai pas vraiment de solution innovante à apporter, si ce n’est la robe courte, fluide, à manche trois-quarts. Voilà, c’est moderne, ça ne fait pas tarte, on peut même manger et on montre ses jolies jambes par la même occasion…

  • Pourtant c’est sexy une robe du soir.. Un côté un peu ringard , parfois , je te l’accorde …
    Je rêve quelquefois devant les super robes ” du soir ” au bon Marché , scintillantes , aériennes , spirituelles
    aussi , mais si , ça arrive… Mon problème moi ce serait plutôt ” qu’en ferais -je ” mes sorties sont peu adaptées à ces
    magnifiques tenues !
    Savoure ! Ose !!

  • justement , à mon avis peut être ne faut il pas taper dans le truc “de soirée”….
    Une petite robe bien structurée, noire et blanche par exemple, ou un truc fluide et classe, pseudo strict mais sexy de la guibole, genre Juliette Binoche à Cannes….
    http://people.premiere.fr/Photos-people/PHOTOS-Cannes-2014-Juliette-Binoche-et-Chloe-Moretz-petillantes-et-chic-pour-Sils-Maria-4003963

  • Can not agree more. It’s exactly what I think, it happens to all of us
    Sorry for my English, I’m Argentina !!
    I love you page

  • Tout à fait d’accord avec toi – il y a peu de choix convaincant, Je mesure 1 petit mètre 50, donc exit les robes très longues, et au dessus du genoux, c’est souvent trop serré, trop court, trop vulgaire. Qu’est-ce qu’il reste?

  • Alors la non pas du tout, j’adoooooooooore les robes de soirées, le coté super apprétée qui sort de l’ordinaire, se sentir belle dans des tenues de princesse.
    Tiens ben Jasmine, ca c’était une tenue de princesse féminine et détendue du frifri!

  • I think that women in pants at an evening event are so feminine and sophisticate..I love the idea of a new evening way of being dressed up!
    XOX, Gap.
    http://www.gaptoothedgirl.com

  • Les robes de soirée me font rêver pour le côté princesse quand même…
    De toute façon, à part des mariages, je ne suis jamais invitée à ce genre de soirées, donc je peux continuer à rêver ;-)

  • Haha ouf je me suis sentie seule a un moment donne en lisant les commentaires :-D
    Je voudrais me marier encore 50 fois (avec le meme super mari of course) pour avoir l’occasion de mettre une magnifique robe avec tout les accessoires qui vont bien !!!

  • Yes, I agree wholeheartedly! Wonderfully put.
    I often only like the idea, the vision, of an evening dress. But when it’s actually on a person it often becomes too forced and requires just the right accesories, which often goes wrong. Don’t get me started on the requiered high heels…

    Luckily I don’t have many black tie events. If I need to dress up a bit more I like to go with a high waisted midi skirt/blouse combination. Fabric, colour and cut of those makes it possible to vary according to event.
    But of course that’s hardly revolutionary.

  • Ben moi je trouve que si tu es bien en pantalon et que tu te sens mal en robe, faut pas forcer la nature voila!!! Reste toi même, tu es top en toi même, de la où je te regarde c’est décontracté mais chic, française mais sans trop en faire! Dans ton époque quoi, Voila tu es dans ton époque…

    http://www.blushandbeyond.com

    xo
    Alix

  • ouh lala! c’est clair que c’est compliqué et vite stressant… j’avoue que la combinaison est souvent ma bouée de sauvetage ou alors rien ne vaut une robe de chez Chloé, Carven ou Vanessa Bruno pour ne jamais avoir l’air nunuche le soir… et un banquier compréhensif!

  • Ma Garance
    Evening dress in Paris and evening dress in NY isn’t the same thing in the people mind..NY is absolutely more dressed
    more “Classic choice “in Paris enough to have a nice little black dress with The accessories , and you are done. in NY there is always the too much++ phenomena that kills the look…..
    Garance you have wonderful legs !!!for you showing your legs with beautiful high heels…will make it already evening..add a Alaia dress and you are perfect sexy and dynamic…
    as long as you wear the dress and not the dress wear you …you will look fantastic…
    you have a natural elegant so whatever you put on yourself you will look gorgeous:)
    love
    Yael Guetta
    http://www.ftwwl.com

  • mais Garaaaance toi qui est très chemise et qui a les cheveux courts pense à une très belle chemise en soie blanche très élégante avec un long pantalon large (comme une jupe) ou une jupe longue ample ou droite …et c’est parfait! comme Sharon Stone …qui a aussi les cheveux courts, qui ne s’embarrasse d’aucune entrave et dont on ne remettra jamais en cause le sex appeal et la féminité!
    J’adore ton blog, ton travail, ton humour, ton allure, ta coupe de cheveux …t’as pas à douter de toi, tu es motivante !

  • Mais je comprends pas, t’as pas le droit aux robes du soir courtes ? Et pourquoi à la place tu regarderais pas ce que fait Kate Moss ? Elle adore le soir et elle est jamais tarte. Et ne porte pas du Dior pour sortir.
    Tu tapes Kate Moss + Party. Ou Charlotte Gainsbourg le soir (pantalon pailleté).
    Et pour la coupe, cherche du côté d’Audrey Tautou (+ soirée) elle a des mini-robes blanches qui t’iraient fort bien.

  • I agree. I love seeing them on the red carpet, but then they start to all blend together – unless you have that ‘it’ factor.

    Along the same lines, I feel similarly towards wedding gowns (I am currently looking). While there are many dresses out there that are beautiful and exquisite, they seem princessy, poufy, bedazzled, etc., especially here stateside. I think that a lot of women actually don’t look too nice in bridal gowns, they are not for everyone! For me, they don’t have the edge I’m looking for. And bohemian-like dresses are often a bit too hippie or sheer for a somewhat chic and elegant look I’m seeking (I am getting married at the San Francisco City Hall). My route is to find something in the non-bridal category as a white/ivory/cream dress would do the trick, but my search is ongoing.

    An article on your opinions on bridal gowns, or the wedding industry in general, would be so interesting!

  • I, too, am getting married in the Bay Area, and I got my dress from JCrew. I really like their bridal stuff. :)

  • Try vintage. I bought a lovely 30’s sating gown. Its perfect. Very sexy, as the sating chows off the figure, and very elegant. I love wearing gowns, actually. They are very sexy,m and its nice that they feel different then jeans. they put you in a different mood.

  • can’t you just wear a skirt and top??

  • What about Ralph Lauren? I think they are my fav! You’d look great in RL evening wear. :)

  • Je suis complètement d’accord avec toi !!

  • Garance, Garance, Garaaaance !
    Vous ne pouvez pas, vous, raconter des trucs pareils. Pourquoi aimons nous de temps en temps une tenue de soirée ? Parce qu’on ne marche pas de la même manière. La tête est plus haute. La posture plus élégante. L’assurance est là (en apparence tout du moins). La féminité est extrême. Girl power in disguise. Vous êtes fichue comme une déesse et êtes ravissante. Vous pouvez vous permettre des tas de choses : qu’il s’agisse de Zara ou Tom Ford. Et puis, vous avez la chance d’être “bankable” pour les marques. Elles vous prêteront les tenues inabordables, à vous ;-(
    Postez un nouveau billet et prouvez que vous êtes la meilleure.

  • MissPimpin September, 17 2014, 11:21 / Reply

    C’est drôle, je me suis fait ex-a-cte-ment la même réflexion mais à propos des chaussures l’autre soir. J’avais un cocktail chic, et aucune envie de mettre des talons car je ne “le sentais pas” ce soir là dans mon allure générale. Je me trouvais plus chic en plat, mais le plat c’est pas supposé faire chic …

  • I agree! This happens to me and when I am looking for a dress I can never find it.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Hear, hear!

    I’m so much more comfortable in pants, dress pants, slacks, etc. I RARELY wear skirts to the office and I so desperately want to be one of those women who has fabulous legs in a pencil skirt but I just don’t feel confident. I prefer pants 10x more and whole-heatedly agree. The time is nigh! Evening wear needs to be redefined!!

  • Je n’aime pas les robes du soir non plus, je suis plutot pantalon large ou etroit, chemise blanche ample en soie, un brin romantique avec une lavalliere relachee et les cheveux flous. J’aime aussi beaucoup les smokings, mais cela fait tres longtemps que je ne suis pas allee a une soiree “black tie”.
    J’ai longtemps reve de la robe de M.Darc dans “un grand blond avec une chaussure noire……”

  • Hahahah great post to read this morning! I am going through the same thing at the moment. Fiancé and I are attending one of those extremely fancy weddings and luck him, all he needs is a good navy suit, for me on the other hand, none of my friends have fancy weddings so I’ve never wondered what to wear (this is one of his dear friends)! We are both not fancy people, even wear means cleaning up for both of us, him something besides hospital scrubs and for me something nice and heels. But on the other hand, he also doesn’t understand how someone can say they have nothing to wear when they have a closet full of clothes :)
    So I could really use help, what does one wear at fancy weddings? And I hate that summer temps are not here anymore, fall is definitely in the air.

  • Garance, le dessin est sublime mais le contenu de cet article: no way!!!: pas du tout d’accord. Bien sûr que vous ne trouverez rien si votre référence en matière de mode est Phoebe Philo. Let me laugh. Il faut regarder du côté de l’Italie (Roberto Cavalli) et des arabes (Zuhair Murad) (http://modadiandrea.blogspot.com/2014/07/red-carpet-ready-zuhair-murad.html).

    Ce qui m’agace un peu c’est quand certaines femmes les trucs ne leur vont pas alors elles disent: on est toutes tartes en robes du soir ou rien ne nous va. Parlez pour vous Garance. Merde (!) Vous verrez ce que moi je ferai sur le red carpet quand enfin la chance daignera me sourire et me rendre célèbre. En attendant je trépigne car j’aimerais leur montrer ce que c’est qu’une femme bien habillée pour un award. Un soir je l’ai fait quand même à LA en mettant ma sublime robe Ralph Lauren aux producers awards et en toute modestie, je ne vais pas faire de name dropping mais j’ai quand même fait tourner pas mal de têtes d’acteurs célèbres.

    Mis à part ce quelques réflexions, le truc c’est: 1) acheter les belles robes quand on les voit et en avoir de réserve pour une occasion. 2) Parfois on a envie de s’habiller et on ne sort pas. Eh bien on s’amuse à s’habiller et on se prend en photo. Ca fait des idées de réserve pour les jours où on doit sortir et pas envie de s’habiller. Personnellement c’est mon cas et ça aide d’avoir une photo avec une tenue toute prête.
    Ceci est un truc que j’ai fait dans mon escalier de secours:
    http://modadiandrea.blogspot.com/2010/11/torture-free-oh-my-god.html?updated-min=2010-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=50

  • True. I feel the same also, never getting the hype for evening gowns.
    most of them are, in my opinion, uncomfortable to wear

  • Lovely text! Same old problem for me ;)

    http://fashion-hooked.blogspot.nl/

  • I have a lovely tea-length silk dress in steel-blue with a double-layer organza lighter blue bolero from Eileen Fisher as my go-to evening dress. In summer, I pair it with silver or crystal accessories. In fall, I have copper jewelry and bronze heels. Works every time. When I wore it for my nephew’s wedding, the bride wanted to borrow it!

  • I agree with you!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • I do agree. I mean, there are occasions when women look cool in an evening dress, but then again, I guess those women just have a special allure to begin with. Otherwise, you don’t really see cool in a gown. We may go back in time to the beginning of the 20th century and enjoy the magnitude of a really grand, big dress for a while (like I do in theater sometimes), but that only holds for a while. Then we realize how good we have it, that we can go back to pants, freedom, comfort and cool sexiness.

    We do need a new look. New Look is not for me, personally.

  • I also end up with jeans and bustier almost every time :)

    http://www.traveling-lady.com

  • Pour moi, la solution, ce sont les jupes.

  • I do go to a few premieres and an award shows per year. I have found that I am most comfortable in what would be considered a cocktail dress rather than evening gown. I also buy at least one per year and now I have quite a few to choose from depending on how I feel that day. A new dress might sit in my closet for six months before I have something to wear it to but I know it is there. Buy a dress the minute you see it and get it altered. I see so many friends freaking out about buying a special occasion dress for awards season in January or February when nothing is in the stores.

  • Stella White September, 17 2014, 12:51 / Reply

    Chère Garance, tout d’abord je tiens à faire partie des ces centaines de gens qui te trouvent sublimissismsisssisisisisissssssiiiiimmmmmissssimemissssssiiiiime avec ta coupe de cheveux sur les photos sublimissismsmsisssssiiisiimmissssiiiiiiiimmmmeeeee du dernier post sur tes cheveux (aie, presque plus de salive)..;ensuite moi je suis d’accord avec toi: la robe en soirée non seulement fait un peu tarte mais un plus est d’une banalité hors pair. Moi je te propose deux solutions:

    soit une robe de grand créateur fou-décalé-delamort (genre Balenciaga dernière collection) à décaler d’avantage avec un chapeau melon (effet garanti pour moi)(mais bon le chapeau melo ne va pas à tout le monde)

    soit (moi j’ose) une robe de soirée assez classique avec des sneakers du soir hyper classes.

    Oui, d’accord, j’entends déjà les dents grincer..;je sais, ce n’est pas pour tous les goûts, mais moi, c’est justement ça qui me plaît.

  • Good evening Garance! (spot the joke)
    I think the evening is all about the different lighting. Think with your photographer’s head.
    Wear something that comes to life at night. Skin looks different at night, fabric, jewellery everything. I don’t mean you should get dressed in the dark but play around with that thought in your mind! xx

  • Oh, I really love a great jumpsuit! Amd maybe the bustier, with wider pants (palazzo style)… although, I remember your green dress you wore in Cannes, which I think was the moset sublime dress ever! Kisses!

  • I couldn’t agree more Garance! Some designers don’t do evening wear at all now and I think it’s a shame. Because sometimes we do want to dress up a bit. Not to Oscars standard – but a bit beyond “daywear with heels and a stronger lipstick”. I’m so sick of jeans and a silk top! We want to be alluring and sexy but not in an obvious way. We want a “go anywhere” easy evening wardrobe that still says “I got changed after work”. Ideas please!

  • I love you and i miss your videos!

  • Garance, what you have written basically says exactly what i have been saying about evening wear BUT especially skirts. I love the idea of a skirt but on i feel ridiculous, like too flirty, too girly, too poufy. I often go for the femme fatale mini skirt, or something tight in the end. I love being comfortable, looking effortless but with some element of glamour.

    I would love to know your measurements so in the case one day I make a evening gown i think would look fabulous on you i want to show/send it to you.

    xo

    Robyn

  • I feel the same -and I tend to have morning sessions like that too.
    Love the illustration

    Priscilla Joy
    http://www.43concept.com
    Dutch Caribbean

  • Patricia Bonilla September, 17 2014, 2:36 / Reply

    Garance,
    You forgot Alaia. He makes beautiful dresses. I love the jumpsuit. It’s chic and comfortable.

  • Ma solution robe de soirée sexy et anti-tarte : une robe bustier avec des poches ! Les poches modifient immédiatement l’attitude, et on sait enfin quoi faire de ses mains (ce qui est, je pense, un des gros problèmes des actrices sur red carpet ;-)))

  • Ahah ;-) Même avec un sac à patates tu rayonnerais! Ton sourire vaut bien toutes les robes de couturier du monde garance.

  • I totally disagree, I think more women look better in dresses than in pants. I think the trick is to buy something for evening when you do not really need it, I have a drawer full of great evening things, skirts, dresses, blouses hat I have collected over the years, some are vintage, others are this season….I did not set out to buy them, but somehow they found me….

  • Wow! I agree! But, I think you are doing fine! I love your style! What´s going on?! Breath, trust your instincts and relax. You have a gorgeous smile and eyes! You make anything of clothing feminine by just the way you are! So- don´t stress! But, I agree with an above comment that you have great legs. A skirt that ends below the knee, high wasted with a button down shirt (buttoned down as far as you dare) with great heels that you can walk in (yes, I´ve seen your little movie on heels) -is always a sexy look! Otherwise, get one of your stylist friends to spend a day in your wardrobe or go shopping with you! Believe me, some need clothes to define them or get them in the door. YOU DON´T. YOU GOT IT! You have the style in your being- YOU!

  • Princesse Diana avait des épaules larges, et cheveux courts et porté de merveilleuses robes longues… (la robe où elle danse avec Travolta aux USA wouahh !) Bon OK, je pense que les robes étaient extrêmement chère… mais quand on regarde certains modèles je pense qu’on peut trouver des similaires. Peut-être le mieux c’est du sur-mesure ou “presque” sur-mesure ?

  • La Grenouille À Grosse Bouche September, 17 2014, 3:28 / Reply

    Et pourquoi pas une mini jupe avec une veste de smoking ?
    Veste de smoking = Sexy mais point trop n’en faut
    Mini jupe = Sexy sexy, mais t’affole pas, j’ai des cheveux courts = je suis une femme libre (et pas une tarte meringuée (rapport à la robe meringue) avec des cheveux longs ondulés comme mon arrière grand mère)

    Je te laisse le choix des chaussures et tu te fais une bouche rouge “à la Garance”.

    Bon, tu me fais un selfie ?

  • Garance, I love your blog and how you write. I totally agree with you, we definitely have to change the way we dress in evening.
    Kisses,

    DIANA

  • Les robes du soir à l’américaine, ça fait souvent Dallas (à part Cate Blanchett). Mais j’ai eu une robe longue Sonia Rykiel (avec des poches) que j’ai porté pour des occasions très habillées et c’était à la fois cool et élégant, plus européen. Je suis une fan des robes. Un pantalon à une soirée habillée, je trouve ça tristounet.

  • I just feel like I’m not feminine enough to wear a dress like that! I feel so awkward

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • So well written and very on point. I think formal evening is especially difficult and as you stated expensive, time consuming and most trips depressing. You can never find something that really moves you, that you love and look amazing in. The awards shows are fun but they have teams and months to work with, really who has the ability to do that.
    Black tie for me use to mean long and black, but that gets so boring. And although I love wrap dresses they don’t always work for more formal functions.
    I absolutely love the tux idea and have been searching for one.

    Getting dressed up be it formal or just a great night out shouldn’t be so hard. Why have the great options disappeared?

  • Yes -it is time we had evening wear redefined. I always feel like fancy dress at black tie events, and hate hate ‘smart casual’ ….

  • http://www.fashion-smog.blogspot.co.uk/?view=magazine

    So agree with this!
    I love getting dressed in the morning with fun/casual outfits but evening looks leave very underwhelmed. I tihnk it because there is less room for little personal bits.

  • Oui pas évident de trouver la bonne robe et qui plus est de soirée! Mais pour moi ça reste toujours bcp bcp plus facile que de trouver un pantalon… Je fais complètement partie de la catégorie de femmes qui s’habillent quasiment qu’en robes et jupes (et qui s’aiment moins en pantalon).

  • you are so very very right!

  • I’m going to wear a sequin pencil skirt just below the knee, black off the shoulder cashmere sweater and black suede heels.

  • Garance, I love it when you write–you have such a strong voice, and great sense of humour! While I understand that you are building your name/blog to be more than just a personal journal, I miss hearing from you. I might be the minority, but I wish I could subscribe to just your writing posts; for me, I follow this blog not for beauty or fashion, but for your funny and thoughtful discussions of women’s topics… not to say that your team isn’t clearly very fashionable and lovely!

  • I wear dresses very infrequently but if I need to Scanlan Theodore (Australian label) make the best, affordable, unselfconscious dresses hands down

  • great subject….i know what i look good in… from bikini.. lingerie ….shoes… bag… my hair (hairdresser here) manicue polish… dresses… pants etc…I went gown shopping very depressing…was lost…there r few i like Jason Wu Narciso…I like to see my body… I found a gown…Kamali… one waiting for me ….it’s a continuation of a bathing suit lol …so sexy backless rushed to the floor…need no undies…. My point the is a market for sexy gown for under $1000

  • Hum….. Moi je crois qu on a de moins en moins l occasion de ‘s habllier” et que donc on ne sait pas faire…. Oui la plupart des stars sont mal habillees sur le red caroet mais bon elles sont trop connes, avec le fric qu elles gagnent si elle ne peuvent pas trouver une belle robe du soir ben alors …. Qu est ce qu elles ont besoin de mettre des chaussures trop grandes et des robes pretees!!??? Defies logic !!! Je crois qu il y a des exceptions cependant il y a toujours une ou 2 stars qui y arrivent, genre oui cate Blanchet mais pas a chaque fois
    Je suis aussi d accord que France et Us c est super differentet. Vanessa Paradis avait toujours l air d une clocharde aux oscars, pourquoi ???? Peut etre elle pensait comme toi mais bon ca ne marchait pas !!!
    Dans la vraie vie des vrais gens…. Moi je n avais jamais ete a un truc ‘black tie’ en France ca se fait pas et en australie ben j avais pas encore eu l occasion, jusqu au mois de mars. alors bien sur j ai fait comme toi j ai tout essaye, fait un trou dans ma meilleure option quand mon talon s est coince dans un truc d evacuation de la salle de bain avec la robe dessous (grrr grrr) mais comme fallait faire ma valise pour y aller 2 jours avant ben j ai mis une robe dedans et hop, apres le soir ‘S’, j ai realise que j avais pris que des culottes noires et cette robe la ne pouvait pas se le permettre donc merde merde merde…bon ben sans culotte alors (mais avec un collant chair), bon c etait une robe bcbg max azria et ca allait meme si c etait pas le delire… J etais pas habillee comme les autres dames, ma robe etait longue et pres du corps dans un tissus mat (donc moins soiree) et elles etaient plutot en meringues qui brillen! je ne suis pas mannequin (pas la figure pour) mais au niveau du corps ben tout me va sans besoin de retoucher….ben ca change pas le probleme ma chere !!!
    Mais j ai pas la pression que t as d etre une reference de la mode, tout le monde s en fout de comment je m habille (sauf moi et mes filles)
    par contre dans la foule d hommes en pengouins il y avait un ecossais avec sa chemise de smoking/tux en haut et son kilt de soiree en bas et ses chaussettes !!! ben je peux te dire que tout le monde a adore (bon il etait trop beau et grand aussi ca aide) vive l ecosse ;)
    Conclusions:
    1. C est pas que les femmes qui peuvent faire un effort
    2 pantalon ou jupe ca n apas d importance ni de sexe/gender, ca y est c est fini ca non ??
    3 y a ceux qui ont du style et les autres

  • I feel the same, mostly. Beeing older than you, I’ve already decided that evening wear, for me , does not have to be over the top, sexy, or anything I don’t feel like it to be. Elegant, confortable and feminine, in a subtle way. I wear almost always pants: in silk, tafeta, satin, etc. Mostly classic in shape, some are more wide and flowy…You are very, very feminine, you can wear suits and shirts and still look very femme! Don´t compare yourself to Ellen De Generis (or to anyone), her style is tomboy, but it’s HER that makes it more manly. I love Ellen also, but to me she looks like a handsome boyish guy. Elegant and confident, and not a bit feminine. You can wear man’s clothes, oxfords and t -shirts and still look like a lot of a woman…Don’t bother running around for the perfect (and probably very expensive) gown, you certainly can pull it off in your own way, pants, suits, tuxes, whatever you feel confortable in. White or off-white tuxes/suits are amazing too for the evening. Relax and enjoy it! You’re beautiful and stylish already.

  • Dear Garance,
    I believe that you should choose whatever is comfortable for yourself and style is really about attitude – who cares what others think. If you look after yourself & are in a good place mentally that’s more important & always dress to please yourself. Have you gone across The Gentlewoman magazine? – I often use this magazines issues for inspiration as it’s feminist leaning, inspiring & confident.
    Take care
    Polly xx

  • Garance, you are too harsh on yourself. You need a good psychotheraphist.
    What is wrong with a simple little black dress? You can wear it the way you want to… Even with converse… If you have long, thin legs… You can find yours… No need to “redefine” anything…

  • Katarzyna September, 18 2014, 7:47

    Kasias, thanks for making me laugh. I guess you’re being too harsh on Garance. ;)

    LBD surely doesn’t work for everyone, because black color seems to drown the color in most people faces. Really rare skin tones can glow with black. Thank you Coco, it was good for you, but it doesn’t make the trick for soooo many other women (who all seem to be oblivious to this).

  • I become really self conscious dressed in anything too gown-ish, and a lot of times people just let it get way over their heads. I need to feel comfortable to look comfortable and have a good time, I couldn’t care less what other people are wearing around me… I went to a champagne tasting event once where almost everyone were in some form of gown/tux – I thought they were super silly :)

  • I would love to hear your thoughts on dressing for the office. I feel the same stress when approaching business wear..! And yes, I do agree, a lot of evening wear has become dated.

  • A very simple solution. Get a fancy readymade saree or a classic salwar suit. You’re set for any event :-)

  • Here in Brazil it’s almost midnight but only now I have the time to relax like I really really like: I am not caring about my lousy English; I think that you or your studio team will not read me after 217 comments… And dear, dear Garance… I don’t care. I mean, I would feel real joy if you or any woman read my comment of course! I think I have serious stuff to say…and I don’t even want to talk about evening gowns.
    I don’t do red carpets or gala. Honestly we are too hot here (talking about temperature) to even think about gala. It makes me want to melt like an ice cream G!
    I want to say something I believe with my heart, my soul, my mind and my practice at work: only a woman who’s not afraid to ask what femininity is, truly feels like “I’m so glad that I’m a woman”. Only a woman who’s not afraid to ask how to be (and look) feminine in a blog, to her mother, to her best friend, to her analyst (if she is a she) is feminine. Even if you ask it through the evening gown and the perfect dress thing. It does not matter if you like boys or girls or both: if you can ask it freely you just know it. So…thank you! Can I use you article with my students? I’m a psychoanalyst and I think that what you wrote is pretty lacanian.
    Feel like I’ve crossed many lines here but the thing is… I’m all relaxed. I love to read you almost midnight here in Brazil to relax the way I really really like it.

    Ps: Exception: some midnights ago after reading your blog I went crazily excited and spent many many dollars shopping on line…can’t wait to get my hands on! Stop! Oh, YES wait a minute Mr. Postman!
    And about the evening gown…why don’t you draw it? Have you started already?!
    Beijos! Kisses! Bisous! xoxo dear G.!

  • Haha. Oh Garance, I feel your pain. I have the same dilemma! I too have short hair and even though I loooove pants, I do not want to be mistaken for a man. But I always look a bit pregnant in dresses. So my evening look usually involves navy skinny jeans and shiny heels. If I need to go dressier I put on a velvet or fur coat. There’s nothing sexier than a relaxed look for evening wear with perfect hair and makeup. If you come up with a look can you add it to your ‘edits’? Thank you!!

  • I used to stress with evening dress.

    Not any more.

    I’ve realised what is most comfortable for me is shapeless so I can eat hugely, low-to-no heels, materials that are textured so they don’t show the dust/dirt/flecks/food (I don’t know how women stay pristine, it’s simply impossible for me), and just a handful of things I can wear over and over again – not necessarily making it look different, but simply because I adore wearing them.

    Now, for the past six years, I have had seven dresses that I always wear for formal events (black-tie, weddings):
    (1) a long sleeved, high-necked, knee length black lace dress by Lover, whose darts I removed entirely so that it falls straight from my shoulders to hips to knees in a very loose, comfortable cut (no need to pull any waists in, and I can eat as much as I like) that I made an underskirt for, so it can also be calf length
    (2) an ivory version of the same above, with the optional lace underskirt
    (3) an amazingly intricate ivory leather macrame flapper dress uner which I wear a dark brown long, stretch singlet dress (so comfortable again)
    (4) a vermillion small V-neck, long bell sleeved, straight cut, long, widens-at-the-(just above ankle) hemline dress I sewed in the most gorgeous lace for twenty dollars
    (5) a burgundy lace version of the vermillion lace dress in (4) – for the same price
    (6) a knee length, Romance Was Born silk shift three sizes up so it sits away from the waist – again – its all about “a’ll the better to eat dinner with, my dear”, in a huge, wild sunflower graphic print before graphic prints were trendy: it’s giant sunflowers against an intense turquoise background
    (7) a calf length caftan cut dress that I made from Japanese printed silk my mother had bought and kept for sixty years (it’s just a giant square with a hole fro my neck and two for my arms, and has the best drape EVER owing to its being silk)

    I wear all the above with a pair of second-hand one inch high Roman basket-woven sandals that I found at a thrift store for fifteen dollars, and always carry the same two small evening bags – a vermillion coloured 2005 First from Balenciaga (my first ever designer splurge) or a steel grey grey version of the same bag.

    For slightly-less-than-big nights out, I always wear a deep garnet mens sleeveless textured T with rolled-up leather black or baggy tan suede or cobalt leather pants and the same basket woven shoes, or my usual flat black ankle boots, and a heavy Nepali silver necklace that is so over the top (it’s massive, with turquoise and coral, carving in the silver, and goes all the way down to my navel) that I adore, because it always breaks the ice when people ask me if they can touch it, and where it came from.

    For me, it’s important to be comfortable, no matter what the occasion. And while many of the clothing choices I make for evening black tie and formal attire isn’t traditional and is quite possibly sometimes frowned upon, I can safely say that it feels so good to feel good in your own skin – and your own stye of clothes. And when that happens, you will only take five minutes to get ready!

  • Alors voila c’est tout moi aussi. J’adore les robes du soir mais sur moi, ça fait tarte. Pourtant je suis grande, mince, rien d’anormal mais je ne sais pas pourquoi, je ne m’aime pas en robe. Alors j’en ai quelques-unes malgré tout dans lesquelles je me sens à peu près bien. Et que je finis par ressortir à chaque fois. Et sinon les bustiers, les tops décolletés, les vestes de smoking j’en ai pleins que j’adore !!!!

  • I love wearing gowns! There are plenty of beautiful, non-expensive gowns out there Garance! You just have to plan ahead. I love it so much I start picturing the look months before, there are so much inspiration online or at pinterst, so no problem. I get that you want to look cool, and you can look cool in a gown! There are dresses that are more flowy or angular. You just have to stop thinking that a dress needs to be all fairy-tale princess or sultry diva. What about Tilda Swinton, Rooney Mara og Erin Wasson? They look cool in gowns all the time. With the right makeup and flats i bet you would look great!

  • Ah oui! Quel casse-tête les soirées, je me sens toujours décalée, soit trop, soit pas assez…Je rêve toujours du truc qui n’existe pas…

  • Bien d’accord avec toi, à chaque fois je retourne mon armoire pour mettre une robe, mais comme je me sens tarte/engoncée/ pas à l’aise je finis par remettre un pantalon en essayant d’avoir un haut qui sorte un peu du commun. (mon soucis c’est que j’ai du mal avec les talons, mais je suis sûre qu’avec des talons ça ferait tout l’effet “soirée”) Aaah Emmanuelle Alt, je trouve qu’elle a vraiment la classe, elle m’inspire beaucoup!

    J’en profite pour dire que le nouveau design du blog est canon, mais je suis obligée d’aller dans les catégories pour voir les nouveaux articles, la page d’accueil du blog reste bloquée chez moi sur Proenza Schouler does fringe…

  • the secret to eveningwear is the evening dress + undone beauty look combo. look to charlotte gainsbourg for inspiration.

    evening dress accompanied by evening hair and makeup makes me uneasy, looks like bridesmaids outfit or a prom styling….

  • Palazzo pants! They are more feminine than trousers because they usually are in silky fabrics, or jersey. They move, they flow. They are like a long skirt, but not as formal as a long dress because….they’re pants! Also, they are comfortable. You can’t be elegant if you’re uncomfortable. They can be worn with heels but also with slippers or barely-there flat sandals.

  • La robe n’a aucune importance, C’est la femme qui fait la robe. Une robe de soirée peut être aussi simple et élégante que n’importe quel autre vêtement. Victoria Beckham fait des belles robes de soirée, Roland Mouret, Donna Karan.

  • Quelques fois par année, mon conjoint et moi allons a Glyndebourne. C’est un festival d’opéra, tenu dans une magnifique demeure et ou le port de tenue de soirée est exigé. Les hommes sont en smoking et les femmes… Aaargh! C’est la définition meme de ringard, sauf pour ces quelques vieilles qui visiblement n’ont rien a cirer de ce que les autres pensent. Est-ce que j’ai mentionné que les gens y pique-niquent? Vous vous voyez piqueniquer en robe de soirée? Bref, cette année, je me suis cousue deux jumpsuits a partir de patrons vintage. Nettement plus cool et – surtout – on peut etre assise sur le gazon sans faire tarte.

  • While I like dresses, I also like to see variety in women’s evening wear.

  • I have the same problem with dressing for the evening. My rule of thumb is WWSD: What Would Sofia (Coppola) Do? Cute, sexy, demure.

  • Hear hear. Couldn’t agree more
    Best post ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Simple,minimal,chic Check out the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy she never got it wrong !

  • Jane with the noisy terrier September, 18 2014, 7:44 / Reply

    Why not steal a page from Sharon Stone’s old playbook and pair something you’re completely comfortable in –a mans button-down shirt, a GAP tee– with a fabulous evening wear skirt or silky palazzo pants? The year she wore her husband’s tuxedo shirt, unbuttoned but tightly wrapped and secured with a big brooch, along with a silk taffeta ball gown skirt, she looked fresh, modern, comfortable and appropriate. Or go very Carine in a tight pencil skirt and a silk blouse minus a few buttons.

  • I have a VERY casual lifestyle. A few years ago we were invited to a black tie wedding – I was really put out by that. The nerve! What did I wear? Black silk wide-leg slacks with a cream silk tank and a sheer black silk kimono jacket I bought years ago on sale. It was fine. I also like the idea of an evening skirt with a plain white shirt – very elegant. That’s the extent of my “dressing up”.

  • REGARDE CECILE DE FRANCE AUX CESAR ROBE BLANCHE DE CHEZ JAY AIR

    SIMPLEMENT SUBLIME

  • Venezia30123 September, 18 2014, 8:47 / Reply

    i love dresses! i love black tie dresses(which means cocktail or long).but i adore also a good tux.

    but what means comfortable?
    when it means to stay straight,trying to have good posture and the fit of the dress requires a little bit of ” you can`t slouch on the sofa” than i thing go for it.
    at my last black tie event,and some before, i was quite shocked who some woman came.interesting enough the men all in smocking(and it was boiling hot).i think you should respect the effort of the host to organize the party and give something back with a little effort of yourself.

    but when it means you are feeling in a long dress like your unknown gemini , than better gofer a very good smocking or tux.
    otherwise you`ll show your discomfort miles away.

  • How about Haider Ackermann’s relaxed luxe?

  • Personally, I love evening gowns, but I love this drawing so much more!! The facial expression is exactly the same one I have after trying to figure out what to wear for a night out.

  • I think the answer is a skirt and shirt combination. If the right shape of the skirt and a good fabric can look feminine and formal but not uptight, and after you can dress it up or down.

  • La parisienne ne met pas de robe de soirée, c’est trop UNcool :p
    Le truc c’est que Jenna Lyons, Emmanuelle Alt ou Phoebe Philo elles ont les cheveux longs, elles, pour le côté “fatale” (pas nous :p)… Moi je dis un t-shirt, un statement necklace et une jupe longue et hop, non ? Ou alors une robe noire longue sobre mais avec un truc exagérément décolleté, devant, dans le dos à la Mireille Darc, sur la cuisse au choix + un beau smokey eyes + red nails + 12cm et hop : F.A.T.A.L.E ? G.A.R.A.N.C.E
    bisouuus fatale Garance !

  • Plus personne ne se sape pour sortir en fait sauf dans la mode pour quelques soirées ou sur red carpet et je suis toujours hallucinée de constater à quel point c’est raté, alors que les filles ont accès aux marques qu’elles veulent et qui plus est sans débourser le moindre cents. J’imagine que le stress et la multitude de conseillers en tout genre y sont pour beaucoup et surtout l’obsession d^’être la plus, quelque chose (belle, sexy, avant-gardiste,;…). Je crois que le truc c’est de rester soi même afin d’être à l’aise. Ce n’est pas la tenue qui fait la femme mais la femme qui rend la tenue désirable.
    http://www.mode9.fr

  • avec le Fendi à Cannes tu étais très belle ;-)!….la prochaine fois que tu iras à Paris, tu pourras réserver une après-midi “recherche de robe de soir”, il est impossible ne pas trouver une belle robe à Paris ;-)

  • J’adore les tuniques à la greque (un peu à la Madame Récamier gets into the XXIst century, disons): elles permetent de jouer avec les accesoires, les differants tissus et insinuent la figure des femmes d’une façon très belle, confortable et séduisante. Lanvin ou Rykiel (et autres) ont exploré ce style il y a quelques années, mais sa ne colle pas et j’aimerais bien savoir pourquoi.

  • Pants and a bustier? Goodness, no. If you ask me, that black Celine dress with the feathers or whatever they are at the bottom is a perfect dress. And, yes to a post above, everyone should have a sequin pencil skirt.

  • I only wear dresses so, no, I’d be terrified if they did not exist any more. And nothing, to me, speaks of elegance as a beautiful evening dress. Frankly, however sexy the YSL tuxedo is, nothing beats an Elie Saab evening dress. And do you remember when Tom Ford launched his own line? He was interviewed a couple of years later saying, ‘I thought women wanted suits and evening suits, but I was wrong. They did not sell. They want dresses’.

  • Um, its hard to figure out what you mean. No, dresses don’t terrify me. I like jeans better, but dresses are pretty much flattering on everyone. I don’t look good in pencil skirts, but then, no one looks good in them unless they have very long legs, because they tend to make average legs look stumpy. But almost everyone looks good in a nicely draped , simple dress. Shifts look good on most. Long dresses look good on most. Besides, it doesn’t sound like clothing is the problem with your going out routine.

  • Oh c’mon! Wear that short hair with a postpunk ballgown! You can now wear anything and not look like you’re trying overly hard, because you’re skipping the “hairdo” part.

    If you still feel constricted by “evening gowns” – See if you can get your hands on something close to a vintage Halston- the anti-gown.

  • This reminds of your post I just re-read on New York v Paris dressing. Why not trust that?
    I feel your pain though. I feel as though I get “effortless daytime chic”, but fall at the first fence when it comes to dressing for a night out.
    I’ll think that I’ve got it right in something simple and dark, only to be significantly more underdressed than the crowd. I just feel like a Christmas tree when I wear anything that isn’t my version/attempt at understated chic. Although sometimes I think I am missing out on the fun of nighttime dazzle.

  • So we’ll said. I live in a very casual town so when a chance to dress up happen a lot of my friends go the prom dress… Yes especially the over 35 crowd. Me I’m in my mid-fourties every time a Xmas cocktail event, wedding or fundraiser happens I stress about classic with a nod to a slight theme (I so enjoy a fun twist). I love fashion but will go for what is me. Not all get the memo.

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